There are many ways that you can enhance your website to create a more complete customer experience, because let’s face it, people have far greater expectations these days. Technology is ingrained in everyday life now, so expectations are becoming far greater.
Brochure websites are often the most cost-effective option to promote a business initially. They are simple, can be eye-catching and interesting and can give a far better ROI than many other advertising avenues (e.g. Yellow Pages, newspaper adverts, flyers etc - although in conjunction these can be still very powerful ways to advertise your website).
We find that many businesses don’t have a clear vision of what they want their website to achieve. They know they need a website (because my competitors have one), and ten years ago that might have been fine. But now, customers have a very high expectation when it comes to the online world. With that in mind.
Here are some suggestions for enhancing your businesses website:
Blogging is a great way to make your website more interactive and interesting for your customers. You can share insight and trends from your industry and position your business as an expert in your given field, which greatly helps your brand too. Regularly posting new and interesting blog articles can also help with your SEO ranking, as you have more keywords and additional pages to be displayed in search engine results. Also, the time spent on your website by the user is now of interest to Google, so the longer they are engaged in your website, the better it can be for your rankings.
Your website isn’t just for displaying the things that you sell. You can also advertise current staff vacancies, promote specials or deals, company events and seminars, or even complementary businesses. Also, done well, plugging your social media feed is another way to build your customer following and further the reach of your business (but be careful not to lead your customer away from your intended goal on the website!).
Perhaps you have a basic contact or feedback form built into your current site. Specific 'targeted' enquiry forms may include 'selection' menus that help to filter the enquiry through to the relevant part of your business – whether it is orders, wholesale, or accounts. Also, asking more pertinent questions and finding more relevant detail about your customer or their specific enquiry can greatly help, and even filter out tyre kickers!
Targeted enquiry forms can also give better information on the person this enquiry goes to (e.g. technical sales team) and give information on how the enquiry may be handled (i.e. "one of our sales team will get back to you within 24 working hours, etc). This gives the potential customer a much more guided call-to-action, and can be so much more powerful than a generalised 'contact form'. Read our previous article on Contact forms vs Targeted Enquiry forms.
Utilising portals on your website is another way that you can make the process easier for your customers. They could be for your wholesale customers to log in to make orders or manage their account information themselves (so you don't have to do this manually). Or, you could have a special membership area for your most valued customers, with additional value-add resources or information. These portals don’t only need to be for external use, Staff portals for housing training and development resources are also a great idea (great for eLearning & Certification - which we specialise in).
This involves having two (or more) versions of your website live at the same time. You can test different website variants like alternative headings, section layouts or colours, and by having half the traffic directed to one version and half to the other, this essentially builds an experiment into your website so you can measure and test how effective potential changes are before you make them permanent.
Loyalty or VIP discounts are great incentives for customers to return to your website or purchase more products. These can be promoted through your website and you can also use sign-up links for loyalty clubs or email campaigns. They help to keep your customers engaged with your site and your business, encouraging repeat business and referrals.
Email campaigns are often an important part of increasing your Customer Experience. You can keep them in touch about that new blog, the new product lines about to come out, share others testimonials of your products or business services, or advertise the upcoming sale for VIP members, and so much more. We use several systems that house this within the website system, making this a whole lot easier than adding in third-party Email Campaign software - part of our 'Untangle the Web' campaign we will be promoting soon.
These are usually pages specifically made for customers coming from marketing campaigns (e.g. Pay-Per-Click advertising, Social Media campaigns, Email Campaigns etc). These are made specifically for these customers and usually follow a more narrow 'path', guiding the customer to a more filtered call-to-action (e.g. buy this promotion product, or sign up to this service etc). These landing pages are particularly important for Pay-Per-Click advertising such as Google Adwords and done well can greatly reduce both the spend per click, and increase your ROI. N.B. We feel that these pages should often be part of the main site, or at least offer the customer a chance to peruse the full website, as being stuck on a single landing page can be frustrating for some customers wanting to know more about your business.
Done well, graphical page banners are a great way to make your website look a lot more appealing. It is also an eye-catching way to engage with the customer before they embark through the 'funnels' of your website. These are again great for promos, to show your companies point-of-difference and even to create a gateway for them to follow when something of interest catches their eye. N.B. Don't get too carried away with these though, too many of these banners can affect the page load speeds, and this can have a negative effect on your Page Rank and a customers patience!
Photography can make or break an otherwise attractive website. We usually try to add more people focused imagery - as this helps to create personality in a site - people would rather deal with people than a business! Old stock photography can very quickly make your website look generic and a bit dated. Simply changing out photography can make a massive difference to your website.
The biggest mistake we see in the digital arena is too much text! The hardest thing to do is to have enough clear information to capture someone's attention and lead them off in one direction (a funnel). Then they may like to read a lot more information on the chosen subject or product. Be careful not to lose your keywords in the reduced content, but more importantly don't over cram keywords into the content of a page making it barely readable to humans.
Not every website needs all of these aspects. Some may be helped by a few enhancements, some might require a different selection of upgrades. Your website needs to offer your customers a great experience with your business.
That doesn’t simply mean that the website loads fast or that it is easy to add products to their cart. It is the whole process that needs to be amazing. Right from the first contact they have with your business.
Remember: The sale is not the end point, it is just the beginning of the relationship. Everything you implement needs to give a smooth and pleasurable customer experience.
If you aren’t sure what that might look like for your business, then get in touch with us here at
Fuel Design. We have fully integrated packages that allow your customers to connect with your business through your website, and include
many of the above as standard.